The study of diagnostic efficacy of nerve conduction study parameters in cervical radiculopathy

Sachin Pawar, Aditi Kashikar, Vinod Shende, Satish Waghmare
Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: JCDR 2013, 7 (12): 2680-2

BACKGROUND: Cervical Radiculopathy (CR) is a neurologic condition characterised by dysfunction of a cervical spinal nerve, the roots of the nerve, or both. Diagnostic criteria for CR are not well defined, and no universally accepted criteria for its diagnosis have been established. Clinical examination, radiological imaging and electrophysiologic evaluation are the different modalities to diagnose CR. The incidence of Cervical Spondylosis and related conditions is increasing in the present scenario and the use of radiologic examination is time consuming and uneconomical for the common Indian setup. Thus, there is a definite need to establish a cost effective, reliable, and accurate means for establishing the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy. Electrodiagnostic tests are the closest to fulfill these criteria.

AIM: To evaluate diagnostic utility of various motor and sensory nerve conduction study parameters in cervical radiculopathy.

SETTING AND DESIGN: It was a cross-sectional study conducted on 100 subjects of age > 40 years.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The consecutive patients clinically diagnosed to have cervical radiculopathy, referred from department of Orthopaedics were prospectively recruited for the motor and sensory nerve conduction study using RMS EMG EP Mark-II. Parameters studied were Compound Muscle Action Potential (CMAP), Distal Motor Latency (DML) and Conduction Velocity (CV) for motor nerves and Sensory Nerve Action Potential (SNAP) and CV for sensory nerves.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Study observations and results were analysed to find the Specificity, Sensitivity, Positive Predictive Value and Negative Predictive Value using SPSS 16.0.

RESULTS: Among various motor nerve conduction parameters CMAP was found to be more sensitive with high positive predicative value. CV was found to have greater specificity and DML had least negative predictive value. Sensory nerve conduction parameters were found to have less sensitivity but higher specificity as compared to motor parameters.

CONCLUSION: Nerve conduction studies are useful supportive diagnostic tool for suspected cervical radiculopathy as they are found to have reliable sensitivity and specificity.

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